Music is life. It is to be able to take a material and make something artistic out of it. It is knowing how to reach people’s emotions through sound. It is the ability to present something on stage and reach people.
Evidence Jazz Group live in 2014
Growing up in New York I was exposed to music. My parents had a record collection of over 3000 LP recordings. So, I heard a lot of Jazz, Classical, and also Caribbean music – representing my Caribbean background on my father’s side of the family. My mother, who was also an avid Jazz fan, came from the rural south, but through her I mainly heard R&B, Gospel and the Blues.
I grew up in the Disco era. During that time many of the Jazz greats were still with us, so I had frequent opportunities to see and meet Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon, et cetera.
I knew that music was what I wanted to do in life as early as the 2nd grade. Originally it was a Miles Davis-album that inspired it. I wanted to play trumpet because I heard Miles Davis, and especially his Sketches of Spain recording. Then I heard Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane on other recordings with Miles Davis. That is what made me want to play saxophone. But at the time, being a 2nd grader, I was too small to play, so I had to wait until 4th grade to start on saxophone.
What I liked about Jazz music was that is was not the same, repetitive thing. Every time I heard this music there was always something different and something unexpected.
I was in the All-City High School Jazz Band under the direction of Justin DiCioccio. I am fortunate to have worked with many greats such as Milt Hinton, Frank Foster, et cetera.
I wound up in Michigan through my military service.
Right now I am working with a band called Stone Soul Rhythm Band. We play R&B and popular music.
I have been working with the Evidence Jazz Group for 25 years, and we have three recordings out. One great thing about that is that there has been individual name mention of all the musicians in both Downbeat and Jazztimes Magazines.
You have to be dedicated. You have to be willing to really study, and I mean to study all kinds of music. You can’t have a one track mind. When I studied with Donald Byrd he really had a good talk with me about the importance of versatility.
It is important that you practice and learn your craft well. You have to work on things that you don’t know. If you work on things that you know you are not really practicing.
At this time we really have to be ready to play. With the re-openings people and venues are not going to wait. They want live music now. People don’t realize that it takes us a lot of work to put things together.
One of the things, that I believe is more present now, is a deeper appreciation for life within people.
MICHAEL S DOYLE is a saxophonist and a native New Yorker, who is based in Michigan. With a university degree in music, a background in the Army, and an impressive CV to his name, Doyle has performed with the Evidence Jazz Group for 25 years, while also working with other musical projects.
Find out more HERE